Tables turned?

One has to admire the chutzpah of The Sunday Independent. In today’s edition, Jim Cusack questions why the Irish media would be so quick to trust the right-wing, historically anti-Irish, British Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday. He damns Frank Connolly by association, claiming Connolly is the one behind Bertie’s recent troubles. It’s an interesting article, the more so because it employs tactics most often seen used against the Independent and its stable of writers: “Nevermind the content, said journalist is anti-Irish, right wing, [insert bad association of the day here] etc, s/he writes for [insert damned publication here], don’t read them etc etc etc.” Whatever about the content of Cusack’s article, the tactics of it are amusing in this context.

Also reported today, Mairtin O Muilleoir of the Andersonstown News is said to be buying out the Irish Echo for a cool $5 million, and will move to New York to take over the helm of the paper. Belfast’s loss is New York’s gain?

UPDATE: O’Muilleoir’s MillionsThe Rich Man With The Poor Mouth

Named as #79 on the Press Gazette’s 100 Most Powerful (in Regional Newspaper Journalism) for 2006, in 2004 the Sunday Independent reported him as the sole proprietor of the Andersonsontown News Group, whose estimated worth was then pegged at €15 million (£10.2m). In 2005, he launched Daily Ireland with a budget of €4.4m (£3m). His papers have been heavily subsidised by the British and Irish governments, with financial support most recently being reported as “€2m in government handouts” over a period of 5 years (Jul 05). Examples of this funding:

The Angrytown HQ of Daily Ireland (11 counties only) has enjoyed ‘interest subsidy relief’ on its mortgage to the tune of €134,000, thanks to the British taxpayer.
Its sister paper, the Irish language La, has been given €290,000 for “extension and expansion costs”, while there has been a €26,000 “grant to enhance the company’s management systems”.
Oh yes, and there was €79,000 to produce an arts supplement, €22,000 to produce a literary supplement and another €245,000 for “publication costs”, although admittedly this was spread over a few years.
A further windfall of €400,000 was chipped in by the British taxpayer to fund a non-newspaper pet project of the Angrytown management.
In the last five years the business has bagged nearly €2m in government handouts. Despite the redundancies SF TD Caoimhghin O Caolain took it upon himself to tout for investors offering “guaranteed” seven-year investment returns in Daily Ireland (11 counties only).
Micheal Martin’s Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment seems to have taken him up on the offer. Daily Ireland (11 counties only) is getting €18,000 a year to pay sales salaries and Minister Martin’s Department, through one of its north-south agencies, is stumping up most of the cash.

It is probably a good thing that the Irish Echo is an established paper, as the US government might not be so generous with handouts. Then again, if there is anything O’Muilleoir has a talent for, it’s shaking the hand-outs…

Now the State helps prop up Provo-friendly paper
Stop the Daily whining from the wings
O Caolain sought investors for paper that is ‘not SF mouthpiece’
An SF past paves a Sterling road ahead

  • Miss Fitz

    A colleague was over in New York last week at a conference. The HUGE headline on the Irish Echo the day after the Viriginia Massacre was THANK GOD.

    The gist of the article was of course the gratitiude that no Irish person had died in the massacre, but my colleague (and indeed anyone else who heard about it) felt it was a very crass, inward looking and brutal approach to this story. They tackled one of the Irish Echo journos at the conference about it, but he was unrepentant. The Irish Echo exists in a vaccum in New Yrok, catering to people who know how they like their news, and want to remain unchallenged.

  • Miss Fitz
  • páid

    “historically anti-Irish, pro-British, right-wing” Surely Cusack is talking about his own paper.
    The Sindo is worth the money for the laugh I get seeing them trying to berate “British” papers, whilst being more British than the Brits themselves editorially.

    Now tell me again, does dogging occur in Ireland?

    Is it possible to obtain cocaine in Ireland?

    How many tails has Mary Lou McDonald?

  • forlorn fairy

    I suppose if you have the odd five million laying in a drawer going spare well why not? I do agree with Miss Fitz that the echo is indeed inward looking and insular. Is the Echo worth that sort of cash?

    I don’t think this will affect Bertie, since the PDs aren’t pulling out, in the heat of the election this stuff will be left behind, unless they publish the content, and even if they do its been said theres not much news in there anyway, but the problem lies with interpetation. My money is still on Bertie.

  • Conn

    This from Emer O’Kelly in the Sindo a few weeks ago: ‘We’re a filthy race, as we’re a drunken race. We’ve always tried belligerently to deny it. Now the weight of evidence has forced us to acknowledge our national alcoholism; but we’re still trying to deny our propensity for wallowing in muck and mire.’

    O’Kelly’s argument was based on the water problem in Galway. This rubbish could have been directly lifted from a Victorian paper; perhaps O’Kelly could have thrown in a few more ancient sterotypes, such as that the Irish are lazy, feckless, insolent and lawless.(Sterotypes which unionism has, in the past, been only too happy to play up).

    I suppose her anti-Irish sentiments go some way to explaining why she affects an English accent anytime she is on the radio.

    Today’s Sindo: a case of the pot calling the kettle anti-Irish.


    Mmmm. The latest chapter in an interesting relationship between O’Millionaire and Finlay:

  • forlorn fairy

    Those are BIG handouts!

  • Token Dissent

    By Jesus those Brits are evil aren’t they? Bloody cultural imperialists, coming over here limiting our freedom of speech, propping up the Andytown News and other fifth columnist West Brits.

    “interest subsidy relief’ on its mortgage to the tune of €134,000, thanks to the British taxpayer.” Who says that New Labour dos nothing to promote affordable social housing?

    Brits out! (But can we please keep the handouts?)

    URQUHART – cheers for the Lynch link. I wasn’t aware that it was the Andytown that blew the whistle on the holy text that was The Portadown. News.

  • New Yorker

    This would be a curious purchase. It is clearly not for a business reason, as it is a small third-rate product in a rapidly declining industry. If the reason is to influence public opinion, at most it might have the attention of a miniscule and shrinking audience that has little, or no, significant effect even within its parochial community and certainly none beyond it. A potential buyer must have plenty of capital to dispose of and little sense.

  • The Devil

    Yeah but will Martin be going there to spend time and his hard earned British money, if so I welcome it because it means that we’ll be rid of the irksome fool.
    I wonder will the Yanks like to be addressed in conversation with the original draft-dodger (well service dodger) as “wee boy”.
    Mr stop the junketts unless i’m involved Millar likes to give the impression that he owns the ATN group… well Marty why not tell us all how you came up with the millions to purchase it… or was it just given to you for long service ( but for what)

  • it takes some ‘chutzpah’ from a newspaper group, which during the 1930s, supported the Fascist Blueshirts, to criticise the Mail on Sunday for its nazi past.

    It also takes some chutzpah of the Dependent Group to criticise Lá, a newspaper whose stories it has plagiarised on more than one occasion, for applying for grant aid to publish an Irish language newspaper from Foras na Gaeilge which organised an open competition for the same. Lá won out despite competition from the Irish News. Where was the Independent application. The Independent incidentally received sponsorship of €90,000 from Foras na Gaeilge for its recent Irish language cds. The Independent has received countless thousands from Invest Northern Ireland for moving jobs from the Belfast Telegraph to a call centre in Armagh where the same jobs are being done by people at a fraction of the cost of the former BT employees. But nary a word on that on slugger which has completely lost its credibility in terms of the even application of the man not ball rule.

  • UFB

    “I suppose if you have the odd five million laying in a drawer going spare well why not”?

    Yep, that’s why he still live in a house in Beechmount

    Miss Fittz

    While the Echoes, ( allegedly, I can’t find it on the link), headline cried “Thank God” they cater to a particular audience how different is that to an international disaster. e.g BBC

    “plane crash in Nigeria, five Britons killed”/

  • miss fitz

    I think there is a subtle difference. Reading that headline, and indeed the article which described the ‘luck’ of the Irish students who werent killed, there was an appalling lack of recognition of the other students who were murdered.

    Thanking God in this way looked to imply that God (?) saved the 4 Irish students, but did not look so kindly on the students from other nations who were not spared

    Its not the same as your putative BBC report, factually stating that 5 Britons were killed.

    This was quite a chilling headline, catering as you rightly note to a particular audience.

  • USA

    I think you guys are being a little too hard on the Irish Echo. I think it does a pretty good job for its target audience, that is, Irish-Americans and the Irish immigrant community.
    I have it delivered every week, but I must say it does seem a strange purchace by the Andytown News.

    Sunday Indo….pot-kettle-black.

  • Shore Road Resident

    A business decision that is inexplicable by normal terms but is sadly all too explicable in terms of ego, precedent and delusion. These are the people who thought Daily Ireland would be selling 100,000 copies by now. They are perfectly capable of believing they’ll have half the 30-million Irish-American market by next Tuesday – because they’re all just waiting to hear how great Gerry Adams is as well, aren’t they?

  • Nathan

    I once enjoyed the Sindo for its distinctive ramblings but I don’t think I would bother reading it now.

    There’s more news in the so-called tabloids.

    For instance, I learnt yesterday from the Irish edition of the Sunday Mirror that the Reverend David Frazer (a vocal critic of the Love Ulster rally) has recently taken up political canvassing.

    Apparently he is knocking down doors in the newly created constituency of Meath East….not in support of his co-religionist Sirena Campbell but in support of Sinn Fein’s squeaky clean Joanne Finnegan!

    You rarely get that sort of up-to-date, on-the-ground juice from the Sindo/Mail journos…

  • BIFF 2

    If [a big if ]the reports are correct of Mairtin O Muilleoir having plans to purchase Irish Echo , there is no better man for the job .